Malcolm Shaw was the hero for Atlético Ottawa on Wednesday night, scoring an 82nd-minute goal to tie the match at 2-2 and earn his side a point against York United.
The start of the match was evenly contested, with Brian Wright forcing a save from Nathan Ingham the best early chance. With his side’s first shot on target, Michael Petrasso gave York United the lead in the 18th minute. After a long ball down the pitch was chased down by Nicholas Hamilton, the Jamaican brilliantly passed it back to Max Ferrari with a backheel effort. Ferrari took a touch to his left to open up room for him to cross the ball before curling a driven cross into the six-yard box.
Petrasso made a perfectly-timed run through the Ottawa defence, getting his foot to the ball before a diving Teodor Obadal, giving The Nine Stripes the lead.
Both defences looked sharp in the opening 45 minutes, especially York’s — who allowed just three shots, and only one on goal, in the first half.
Just five minutes after the break, however, the home side tied it up at 1-1. After a perfect through ball from Alberto Soto found the feet of Miguel Acosta, Ottawa’s left back tried to play a low pass across the box, but York centre-back Dominick Zator got his foot in front of it to block it. Acosta followed the ball into the box and blocked an attempted clearance by Zator before firing the ball into the back of the net.
The deadlock would last just 10 minutes, as the visitors took the lead again at the hour mark.
Noah Verhoeven, after receiving the ball near the halfway line, took a moment to scan the field in front of him before lifting a long pass over the Ottawa backline. It took a couple of bounces before Alvaro Rivero caught up to it, and lobbed it over the head of Teodor Obadal, who was caught off his line. He didn’t fully commit to coming out to get the ball, or staying in his goal, allowing Rivero a chance to lift a shot over him.
It seemed as though York were set to pick up the first-ever win in this fixture — as the past two meetings also finished in a draw — Malcolm Shaw rescued the home side. In a crowded penalty area, moments after a corner kick, a Chris Mannella shot fell to the feet of Shaw, who held off a defender before turning and firing home the tying goal.
With the draw, Atlético Ottawa move one point closer to climbing off the bottom of the table. They are now one point back of HFX Wanderers for 7th, while York are now just four back of Valour for the fourth and final playoff spot.
18′ — Michael Petrasso (York United)
50′ — Miguel Acosta (Atlético Ottawa)
60′ — Alvaro Rivero (York United)
82′ — Malcolm Shaw (Atlético Ottawa)
46′ — Yellow: Tevin Shaw (Atlético Ottawa)
64′ — Yellow: Julian Ulbricht (York United)
74′ — Yellow: Chris Mannella (Atlético Ottawa)
88′ — Yellow: Ben McKendry (Atlético Ottawa)